Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Old Friends

Saturday I went to see my best friend from college, Audrey. Here's the shameful thing: we live fifty minutes apart, yet go for years without seeing each other. Well, you know how that goes. Frankly, I have friends who live fifteen minutes away who I go for years without seeing. It ain't right, but that's how it is.

Audrey and I have been friends for twenty-five years. Man. One of the best things about our friendship is that it's stayed current and contemporary. We almost never talk about old times. And best of all, we've let each other grow up. We both did plenty of stupid things when we were younger, had dumb ideas, said things that would make us cringe today. We also had big dreams that didn't necessarily pan out. Life doesn't work out the way you think it will when you're twenty. You never imagine how many ways you'll have to compromise.

But you grow up, get married, have kids. You accept the compromises you have to make. But there are people from your past who will pop up and say, "Why aren't you still the way you used to be? Why don't you still believe the things you used to believe? What happened to you?"

Audrey and I don't do that to each other. We let each other be who we've become.


Among other things, Audrey is an artist (which she's always been). She's a printmaker and a painter, and in more recent years she's become a quilter. One reason I was eager to make the trip to see her is I knew she would inspire me creatively, which she alway has. I'm inspired by her art, and I'm inspired by her household, which is funky and offbeat, but also cozily domestic. I'm inspired, too, by her willingness to jump into projects, take risks, and have fun.

So I came home and started working on the quilt I've been planning. I'm working with blue and green fabrics to match a room in the mountain house my husband recently painted--you guessed it--blue and green. It's an odd green, though. Say you had a medium olive green and added a few drops of blue. It doesn't sound all that attractive, but weirdly enough, it looks great.

I'm not in love with all the greens I'm using, though. Too much yellow. But I'll get it figured out. I'll rip out what I have to, make the necessary changes. I'm willing to compromise in life, but in art? Never!


Anonymous said...

How great to have such a 'keepin' it real' kind of friendship...I have a friend like that, what a blessing, isn't it? You can truly be yourself.

Love your quilt design...I take my hat off to all quilters...the thought of it drives me crazy...sewing all those little patches together...eek!! Can't wait to see the finished quilt!

love, Tina :)

Tracy said...

Your quilt so far looks great!

Friends like Audrey are a gem. I don't have too many 'old' friends of that caliber, but I have some more recent friendships are have been worth the wait!

Victoria said...

I say "Yay for the patchwork!"
Glad you got Andrew off of your mum's facebook. She sounds very cool. Funny about how the 2 books she's not into are the most autobiogrpahical - that must be a bit weird for her (any you).
As always, am most amused and enlightened by all your blog writings (catching up - first day of the school year here so house is very peaceful with three big kids back at school.)
p.s. the snot is HARD to get off walls isn't it?!!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Tina, it's taken me fifteen years to work up my courage to make a quilt--and it's the thought of all those little patches that has scared me off! That's why I'm working with big patches. Less frightening.

Tracy, you've been a big inspiration to me quilting-wise. I can't wait to see what you think of the finished object (which should be finished in three or four years ...)

Victoria, it's good to hear from you--your blog has been awfully quiet lately, but now I know why. Snot is incredibly hard to peel from the walls. Lots of hot water helps, I've found. Also: wearing gloves cuts down on the inherent gross-out factor.